January 5, 2012 Subject:
Both this and the more recent AUD recording
are excellent quality. The show, although brilliant in spots, is a bit patchy, and the energy that builds up in the first set doesn't last through the second.
July 20, 2010 Subject:
I Will Take You Home - sweet as it gets
A beautiful, crisp memento of the show that kicked off the delightful Indian Summer of the Grateful Dead known as 1989. No doubt that the post-coma delerium we experienced in 1987 flattened out in 1988. Nine shows in a row in a sausage factory like Madison Square Garden kind of drove that point home. But the Dead broke free once again in 1989 beginning with a three show run at the Kaiser which I was privileged to attend. This show captures so much of what made 1989 the remarkably creative, energetic and satisfying year it came to be.
Several pieces of this show combine to make a five star experience. How about a Touch beginning, followed by Stranger (a second opener) right into Franklin's. Three songs into the night and it feels like they are still opening the show!!! I wouldn't say that the energy level of this show is off the chart, but the cohesiveness of the band sure is. Four string players (keyboards are string instruments - just hidden) and vocalists totally at ease with themselves and each other backed up by two rock solid drummers. You don't need unlimited energy when you can hit the sweet spot and put it on cruise control like this. The playing is smooth and the sound quality gives you every little bit of it just like a bisquet picking up gravy!!!
I go for the fifth star here because of the break-outs: first ever We Can Run, SOTM and I Will Take You Home, if I am correct. 1989 began with a some sweet new tunes and went out with some pretty sweet old ones brought back, yes? We Can Run is still in its infancy here and Brent is feeling his way. SOTM comes across fine, but the real winner (and real heartbreaker) is I Will Take You Home. Brent nails this from start to finish, it is beautifully constructed and phrased and I just don't think this songs was performed better than this. I have a daughter and I cried listening to this - OK , so I cry a lot. Anyway, if you listen to one song from this entire show, make it this one. Brent had a deep well of talent, may he rest in peace. On top of that, I'm an Althea freak, this one scores big and that opening trio kept us on our feet, for sure.
Otherwise, it is just so great to listen to Jerry so healthy and expressive. Listen to him sing back-up on We Can Run; Brent wasn't all that sure where the song was going, but Jerry was right with him. Phil is solid in the mix all night.
What can we say about Charlie Miller and his friends? I say throw all those bums in Washington, DC out and put Charlie Miller in charge!! Love the Dead and love the Archive - thank you very, very much!
July 20, 2010 Subject:
rough day at the office
sometimes you're at work and you're draggin your ass a bit. and then something happens that reminds you that you like your job. seems to me like about eight minutes into desolation row, jerry garcia realizes where he is and what he does for a living. things pick up from there. phil, bob and everyone else are trying to churn out some good vibes for the fans, but the mood of the show always relies heavily on jerry's temperament. and when your specialty is a vocal timbre of vulnerability and an introspective style of lead guitar playing, you can't help but wear your heart on your sleeve. the lengthy noodling in playing in the band seems cathartic in that jerry's able to get some shit off his chest through some space-like discord.
i'm not very picky about sound quality; this sounded just fine to me.